- When gqom spread out from Durban, South Africa, it seemed to be immediately embraced. That could have been due to its similarity to UK funky, with a tough but slinky swing that made it nimble even when it sounded huge. That agility is highlighted on Danger, the first EP from the Durban quartet AudioBoyz, which lands on the eclectic UK label Blank Mind. These tracks take gqom's hefty swagger and enrich it with playful drum programming.
That approach is most obvious on "Danger" and "The Legendary," where the drums speed off into tangential fills, darting up and down the measures like squirrels. The breakdown in "The Legendary" is especially exciting, as toms go wild over a chasm of reverb. With its clipped vocal samples, "Gibbon 5" is more like the kind of gqom heard on this year's Gqom Oh! compilation, but it's still uniquely elastic. "Insomnia" bounces along with syncopated drum loops. Though "Danger" and "The Legendary" are stronger than their counterparts, all four tracks put novel twists on the gqom formula.
A2 Gibbon 5
B2 The Legendary